Posts Categorized: Interviews

The Googler Who Lived at Google HQ

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The man who lived at Google

When most people claim they live at work they mean it metaphorically. It’s the kind of thing you find yourself saying on a Friday afternoon, weeping, with your head in your hands. But for Ben Discoe, it was the literal truth. He lived in a van in his employer’s car park, showered at the on-site gym and ate at the work canteens for over a year. It helped that his employer was Google – and that Google HQ in Mountain View, California is one of the most progressive and all-round awesome places that you can work at in the world. We know this because Ben wasn’t the only employee to live at the Googleplex. 13 Months on campus Ben Discoe moved into Google HQ for pragmatic reasons. “I had a house payment (on my farm in Hawaii) and alimony to pay,” said Ben in a thread on Quora, “No money left for South Bay rental prices.” Instead, Software Engineer Ben dug into his pockets and bought a van. “I got a 1990 GMC Vandura custom conversion van for $1800 (blue velour, wood paneling, previously tricked out by a burner) and that was my entire rent for 13 months.” Ben kitted out…

How to Build a Bionic Man

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We can rebuild you! Well almost. There’s barely a bit of the human body we can’t 3D print, grow in a tube or cobble together with plastic these days. And by “we” – we actually mean extremely brainy scientific boffins. Those boffins are still some way from creating a fully artificial human, but medical science is at a tipping point where many human “components” can now be replaced or at least repaired by artificial means. And though many of these parts are still in prototype, it won’t be long before they’re in general medical use. Don’t believe us? Here are some choice body parts you’ll soon be able to replace. Have a Heart Things weren’t looking too good for Chad Washington at the end of 2012. The 35 year old’s body was rejecting the heart he’d had transplanted six months earlier. A new transplant wasn’t an option. His immune system was attacking the donor organ and would do the same to another heart. Doctors at the University of California in Los Angeles had an answer though. On October 29th, Chad had the failing organ removed in a seven-hour operation and replaced with a bionic implant. “By removing the patient’s diseased donor…

Zombie Games: Nine You Must Play Now

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  Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse? One group of people definitely is. Gamers. If there’s one subculture that has spent more time training for the rise of the undead, it’s joystick twitchers. The zombie apocalypse is the go-to storyline for an astonishing number of the mainstream games we know and love. Doom? Space marine satanically possessed zombies. Half-Life? Crab headed ex-scientist zombies. Monkey Island 2? Zombie pirates. Pirates, who are also zombies. Awesome. Some games take zombie action to an entirely different level though. These are the Dawn of the Dead of zombie games. Games where clearing wave after wave of classic, shuffling reanimated corpses is an exhilarating treat – or where deadly variants challenge your hand-eye co-ordination to the max. We asked tech writers and gamers for their favourite zombie games and what they came up with is the cream of the genre. Ladies and Gentlemen, let your training begin: Zombie Zombie Play it on: ZX Spectrum (or a PC or Mac, with emulation) Zombie titles go back to the dawn of video gaming. ZX Spectrum title Zombie Zombie is lifestyle and tech writer Lou Hattersley’s favourite of the genre. The 30 year old undead simulator had “3D…

How to Survive Freshers Week

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Freshers week is a feast of firsts and one off happenings. You’ll only leave home for the first time once. You’ll only move in with strangers for the first time once. You’ll only start university for the first time once. These experiences are common to every one, but you may have others. One thing’s for certain – it’ll be the time of your life. For some universities it’s freshers week right now – for others the chaos begins next week. We spoke to people who know all about surviving freshers week and student life to get the best advice; recent graduates. These are people that have not only been there and done that – they’ve lived to tell the tale, finished their courses and got to wear the funny hat and gown they give you at the end of your three years. You should pay attention to what they have to say. Surviving the Week There are two freshers weeks. The official week’s activities laid on by your university and student union are designed to ease you into academic life, with a series of events, introductory presentations and the virtual paperwork of registration. Then there’s the “freshers week” that happens outside the…

How To Become A YouTube Millionaire Today

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Last year, 24 year old Felix Kjellberg made $4 million from playing video games. To be more precise, Felix made $4 million from playing video games really badly. Known as PewDiePie online, millions of YouTube users love the camp, crazy commentary Kjellberg comes up with as he sword-fights with Minecraft zombies or screams like a girl playing Silent Hill. Over 30 million people subscribe to his PewDiePie channel, making it the most popular on YouTube. So – yeah. $4 million. You’re probably thinking, like us, “I play video games really badly! I sound a bit stupid when I talk! Maybe I can make a fortune on YouTube.” Well, that’s true, you could. But there’s one big difference between us and Felix. He’s actually doing it. Want to be the next YouTube millionaire? We talk to people who know exactly how to get you there. Show Me the Money In May 2007, YouTube launched its “Partner Program”. Under this initiative, popular YouTubers were able, for the first time, to run advertising on their videos. At first, it was a shadowy, secretive feature – with YouTube cherry-picking popular uploaders for its program. In 2012, the service was opened to everyone. Party time. YouTube has been…

Interview with a Zombie: Meet Rob Hall!

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Rob Hall beat a mass of grotesque competition to win our zombie auditions. Since then, his life has been turned upside down with appearances on Big Brother to forthcoming TV appearances in the US. We caught up with Rob to see how he was getting along… After an audition at the Pineapple Dance Studios and a rigorous interview process, he triumphed. We sat down to ask him what is’t like to be a professional zombie… How has your life changed since winning our Zombie challenge? Since winning, my life does seem to have changed a lot, and not just in terms of getting my zomb on! Obviously the zombie work itself is the biggest change; it seems that every other week I’m doing some filming, or a photoshoot, or any other assortment of random zombie adventures. But on top of that I’ve had a massive increase in my own self-confidence. No longer am I just another nameless face in the crowd… I’m a professional zombie! How did you hear about the competition? It was actually sheer dumb luck. Stephen Fry had mentioned it on his Twitter feed, but even though I follow him I’d actually missed that tweet entirely. Luckily…